I have an on-again, off-again relationship with beets. I want to love them, but beets don’t always make it easy.
They stain everything, even my kids poop, which was terrifying the first time it happened until I remembered the pureed beets I’d fed my daughter the day before.
I love beets when they’re roasted or baked. I dislike them raw or steamed.
I love yellow beets because the earthy beet flavor is a little milder.
Red beets have a much more intense flavor.
Add yellow beets with other roasted veggies and they blend right in.
Add red beets to anything and all I taste is red beets.
I had a bad experience with borsht (beet soup) at a young age and have been skittish of beet soup ever since.
I keep trying to make different beet soups, but every time, I’m like “meh. Not for me,” and end up hiding the soup in the back of the fridge until I am forced to contend with the moldy remains.
Still, here we are at the end of beet season and I had about 6 beets hanging out in my vegetable drawer, uneaten. I knew I couldn’t make endless roasted beet chips for my kids so I figured I’d try making soup again, because I am forever the optimist when it comes to beets.
I decided to take a peek on the internet to see what beet creations braver kitchen adventurers had come up with when I came across this soup on Oh She Glows, one of my favorite vegan food blogs.
It had cabbage (which conveniently I also had in my fridge) plus a highly unusual ingredient: Marinara sauce. I was suspicious enough to give it a try.
I modified it a bit because I was a little skeptical of the marinara and also because I didn’t want to make quite as much soup as the recipe promised, just in case things went south.
Turns out that marinara is a great soup base. At least for beets.
Well, now you do, too.
And if you happen to have some end of season winter beets hanging out in your vegetable drawer, this soup is for you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Not only did I go back for seconds, but I ate more the next day!
Oh…and make the cashew cream to go with it. Or sour cream (vegan or otherwise) if you’re feeling lazy. The soup is better with it.
Heartbeet Soup (modified from the original recipe, Hunky Heartbeet Cabbage Soup, found on Oh She Glows)
1Tbs coconut oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups beets, peeled and diced
4 cups cabbage, sliced and loosely packed
2.5 cups marinara sauce (I used Whole Foods Brand — basically, one jar)
3 cups veg broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups soaked cashews (2hrs is just fine)
3/4 cup water
2 Tbs lemon juice
2tsp apple cider vinegar or umeboshi plum vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Add oil to large soup pot. Add in the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic, stirring well for about 1 minute.
Stir in the cabbage and beets. Combine well with the onions and garlic, sauteeing for about 3-5 minutes.
Pour in the marinara and the veg broth. Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer untilt he beets are fork tender, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how small you chop your beets. I chop small, because who has time to wait for soup to be ready in 2hrs?
Anyway, once the beets are fork tender, remove from the heat and allow it to cool, slightly.
In the meantime, make the cashew cream by combining all ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend until very smooth and thick. Scoop it all out and place in a jar in the fridge to thicken further until soup is done.
Once the soup has cooled, place it in the same blender. You don’t even have to clean out the remains of the cashew cream, which will add a little pre-cashew-creaminess to the soup.
Blend the soup until smooth.
Then ladle some soup into bowls and add a big dollop of cashew cream. Swirl it around and eat that mother up!